Books -- The Art of Racing in the Rain
Although this is under the Weekend Thoughts heading, it's not really the weekend anymore since it's 4:15 Monday morning. But where I am, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, it's still Sunday night. And any way, since I'm on vacation, every day seems like the weekend.
I hadn't planned to post while away, but on the plane over here I read a book that blew me away. Especially if you have a dog or if you love or have loved a dog, this book is for you.
Garth Stein wrote a beautiful story, but unlike other dog books like Marley and Me, this one is different. It's written from the dog's viewpoint. And it's not so much about the dog, but about the family he's with.
The book requires a leap of faith, one that most dog lovers will be able to make. The idea is dogs think and some can have almost human-like thoughts.
The teller of this tale is Enzo, who has two great wishes. He wishes he could have opposable thumbs, so he could pick things up and turn doorknobs. And he wishes something he heard on the National Geographic Channel when his owner left the TV on for him is true, that some dogs come back as humans after they die. Enzo believes he is one of those dogs.
It's a great story, beautifully told. When I finished the book, I had to run to the back of the plane to the bathroom to catch my breath and compose myself. It took me a good 15 or 20 minutes to be able to talk afterwards.
It wasn't because the dog dies -- you sort of know that almost from Page One. It's just the idea that our canine friends might -- just might -- be smarter than we give them credit for, that maybe they really understand a lot of what we do and say and that they try, in ways we don't usually see or understand, to tell us what they are thinking.
So, as I said above, check this book out if you have or have had a relationship with a dog.
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, from Harper Collins for $23.95.